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Array of Resonant Electromechanical Nanosystems: A Technological Breakthrough for Uncooled Infrared Imaging

Abstract : Microbolometers arethe most common uncooled infrared techniques that allow 50 mK-temperature resolution to be achieved on-scene. However, this approach struggles with both self-heating, which is inherent to the resistive readout principle, and 1/f noise. We present an alternative approach that consists of using micro/nanoresonators vibrating according to a torsional mode, and whose resonant frequency changes with the incident IR-radiation. Dense arrays of such electromechanical structures were fabricated with a 12 mu m pitch at low temperature, allowing their integration on complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuits according to a post-processing method. H-shape pixels with 9 mu m-long nanorods and a cross-section of 250 nm x 30 nm were fabricated to provide large thermal responses, whose experimental measurements reached up to 1024 Hz/nW. These electromechanical resonators featured a noise equivalent power of 140 pW for a response time of less than 1 ms. To our knowledge, these performances are unrivaled with such small dimensions. We also showed that a temperature sensitivity of 20 mK within a 100 ms integration time is conceivable at a 12 mu m pitch by co-integrating the resonators with their readout electronics, and suggesting a new readout scheme. This sensitivity could be reached short-term by depositing on top of the nanorods a vanadium oxide layer that had a phase-transition that could possibly enhance the thermal response by one order of magnitude.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 9:57:04 AM
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Laurent Duraffourg, Laurent Laurent, Jean-Sébastien Moulet, Julien Arcamone, Jean-Jacques Yon. Array of Resonant Electromechanical Nanosystems: A Technological Breakthrough for Uncooled Infrared Imaging. Micromachines, MDPI, 2018, 9 (8), pp.401. ⟨10.3390/mi9080401⟩. ⟨cea-02184472⟩



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